How to Make Terrarium ?

A terrarium is an indoor gardening container, typically constructed of glass, fully or partially enclosed to allow heat and light to enter while keeping moisture at bay. Terrariums can be completely closed, but they are frequently left partially open to enable airflow. A terrarium, also known as a “garden under glass,” is a fantastic and impressive present, even for those who consider themselves plant-challenged. 

How to make terrarium

A simple terrarium may be made in less than an hour using only a few inexpensive ingredients. Glass containers, mason jars, and even goldfish bowls make lovely terrariums, and little terrarium plants are sometimes inexpensive.

Terrariums are a fun and creative way to make a small botanical world. A closed terrarium has a unique ecosystem that needs very little attention.

A terrarium is similar to any aquarium; however, it houses plants rather than fish. It can be constructed in almost any glass container.It is designed to resemble a tiny garden or woodland enclosed in its own world, so excited to know how to make terrariums? Please continue to read the whole article to know what you will need and how to make it.

Things You Will Need for Terrariums?

(1) Glass Vessel

You’ll need a glass vessel to make your terrarium. There are a plethora of one-of-a-kind containers to pick from. Just make sure the vessel is transparent so you can enjoy your mini-garden. 

(2)  Small Stones or Pebbles

The base of your terrarium will be made of small stones or pebbles. The little pebbles serve as water drainage for the plant roots, preventing excess water from remaining in the soil and causing rot. 

Supplies for Making Terrariums

Things to make terrariums

(3) Activated Charcoal

A thin covering of activated charcoal keeps water fresh and helps to resist bacterial growth in your terrarium. 

(4) Potting Soil

A vital element for your DIY terrarium is potting soil. Any soil should suffice, though special mixtures are available if you’re planting cactus or succulents. 

(5) Plants

A terrarium isn’t complete without some greenery. Choose a couple of your favourite miniature plants to include in your terrarium. Succulents, air plants, and mini-cacti are all acceptable possibilities. See the list of terrarium plants we recommend below for a complete list.

(6) Tiny Gardening Tools

Having a few small gardening tools on hand will make it easier to assemble and arrange all of the elements in your DIY terrarium.

Before You Begin

Choose the Container

  • Choosing your container and plants is half the fun of building a terrarium. Several specialist terrarium containers are available for purchase, including those that appear like miniature Victorian greenhouses or conservatories and sell for hundreds of dollars. 
  • To make a terrarium, you can use practically any transparent (glass or plastic) container with a wide opening (with or without a lid). Aquariums, goldfish bowls, Wardian cases, cold frames, bell jars, tureens, apothecary jars, cloches, mason jars, glass cookie jars, and even huge brandy snifters are suitable containers.
  • A large opening allows you to insert your hand inside the container to add drainage material, soil, plants, and decorative components (shells, figurines, or ornaments).

making terrariums

Choose the Plants

When choosing plants for your DIY terrarium, keep the following factors in mind: 

  • Choose plants that are small enough to fit in your glass vessel. You don’t want any greenery touching the container’s sides and making your terrarium feel crowded. 
  • Plants in humid environments are more likely to thrive in your terrarium. Although succulents and cacti don’t like humidity, you can compensate by using a glass container with a slight opening, such as the one we used for this tutorial. 

Whatever plants you choose, you can keep them healthy in your terrarium by simulating their natural environment. We recommend selecting a few from the following list: 

  1. Air plant Tillandsia stricta
  2. Moon Valley Pilea involucrata
  3. Starfish plant Cypthathus bivittatus
  4. Nerve plant Fittonia verschaffeltii var. argyoneura
  5. Assorted succulents
  6. Assorted cacti

It’s time to get started once you’ve chosen the appropriate plants. Following our step-by-step instructions below, you’ll be well on your way to building your own gorgeous garden in no time.

Stepwise Guide to Make Terrariums

(1) Add Drainage Layers

(a) Gravel Layer

making terrariums

  • Because terrarium containers lack drainage holes, you must develop a drainage layer to keep water away from plant roots. Begin with 2-inch gravel or crushed stone layer in the terrarium’s base.
  • A tall, narrow terrarium will require a thicker covering of drainage stones than a wide, shallow container.


(b)  Charcoal Layer

making terrariums

  • Next, use a large spoon or trowel to add a 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch layer of activated charcoal on top of the stones.
  • It will help the stones drain and keep the odours at bay.

(2) Add Moss and Potting Mix

making terrariums

  • Next, put a layer of sheet moss on top of the stones and charcoal. This will keep the next layer, potting soil, from getting mixed up with the stones and charcoal. The moss also makes your terrarium look more interesting. 
  • You can use a large spoon or small trowel to add slightly damp, sterile potting soil on top of the moss with a little help from your hands. Please do not use a potting soil mix that already has fertilizer. Terrarium plants don’t need the extra fertilizer, so don’t use it. 
  • Ensure there are at least a few inches of potting mix in the ground before you plant anything. So make sure that you don’t put too much soil in your terrarium so that the plants have room to grow, but don’t touch the top of the glass.


(3) Prepare Plants

making terrariums

  • Pick on the terrarium’s design before planting. Select the locations for tall and short plants and mounds and dips in the soil to create fascinating curves. 
  • Discard the nursery pots. If a plant is rootbound, twist the roots or cut the longer roots with small garden scissors. Root pruning or removing some roots slows a plant’s growth, which is important in a terrarium. Trim yellowed or damaged leaves. Succulents are great choice for terrariums.

Add the Plants

making terrariums

  • If the terrarium has a narrow aperture, place the plants in the terrarium with chopsticks, tongs, or long tweezers and pat them in.
  • Tamp down the soil with a cork on the end of a skewer or chopstick.



making terrariums


  • Place miniature figurines, shells, decorative stones, or other quirky embellishments throughout the interior of the terrarium to create a more whimsical atmosphere.
  • Be creative; anything goes when you’re learning how to build a terrarium!


making terrariums

  • Water the plants with a spray bottle or a small watering vessel with a rose attachment on the nozzle.
  • You can then wipe off the glass container with a newspaper or a paper towel after cleaning it with the spray bottle.

Caring Terrariums

making terrariums

(1) Closed terrariums don’t need watering.

(2) Once you’ve finished your open terrarium, you’ll need to water it regularly to keep the plants and moss hydrated. 

  • Once a week, give moss terrariums a gentle watering. It’s best if you water terrariums with many plants twice a week.
  • Use a spray gun or a terrarium water bottle with a sharp nozzle. 

(3) Avoid overheating and drying out your plants, keep your terrarium away from direct sunlight.

(Also Read- Low maintenance Indoor Plants for office and study desk)


If you want to put your green thumb to the test but don’t have the room, a DIY terrarium is just what you need. These little tabletop gardens are easy to make and a fantastic way to brighten up your home area. Terrariums are not only entertaining and decorative, but they are also simple to maintain and simply lovely. It’s a DIY win-win situation. Consider building a DIY terrarium as a design piece to bring the outside in or as a present unique idea.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Terrariums

  1. Can you use plastic containers in the Terrarium?

Sure! Plastic containers, such as those made of acrylic, perform quite well. Anti-fog plastic containers, which prevent condensation build-up and improve sight, are also available, but they are often more expensive.

     2. What is the best soil for a Terrarium?

Most plants thrive in coco coir, peat moss, or houseplant soil, except for succulents, which require a well-drained inorganic media. Some people like to make their own soil, but you can also shop for houseplant soil. You’ll need soil with a sand or gravel mixture for succulents.

       3. How to grow moss in the Terrarium?

The secret to cultivating moss in a terrarium is to mimic its natural environment. Check to see what humidity levels work best for the moss you have. If the moss is in an open terrarium, it should be watered regularly.

      4. Can air plants survive in a Terrarium? 

Yes, air plants thrive in the humid environment of a terrarium. They don’t need to be planted in the soil so that you can put them on rocks and another hardscape. Just make sure they’re absolutely dry after you’ve watered them. Some growers remove them from the terrarium to water and dry them more thoroughly. 

    5. Is it appropriate to use charcoal in my closed Terrarium? 

Horticulture charcoal is advised to help eliminate poisons and odours in a closed terrarium. In a closed system, a 1/4 to 1/2 inch layer between the bottom drainage material and moss or topsoil acts as a moderate buffer by absorbing orders, toxic chemicals, and germs.

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